Asylum seekers 'will be homeless'

image captionIt is claimed that some asylum seekers will be left destitute by the change

An organisation which works with asylum seekers in Scotland has claimed that about 140 of them are facing homelessness.

The Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees said Ypeople, the charity which has been housing them, is attempting to evict them.

Those affected have had their claim for asylum refused.

The UK Border Agency (UKBA) has said that they should comply with the law and return home.

Ypeople has received public funding to provide accommodation for asylum seekers while their cases are considered.

Because it has a policy of not seeking evictions, it has allowed those who have been turned down for asylum to stay in its properties.

The charity said this has cost it £500,000 since 2000.

Accommodation is to be provided by the company Serco under a new contract which begins in November 2012.

Ypeople said it can no longer afford to cover the cost of housing failed asylum-seekers.

Margaret Woods of the Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees said: "Once people end up drifting, no one knows where they are. They have no rights of any kind.

"Often they have physical and mental health problems. This is on top of the trauma of war or danger in the countries they've come from."

Routes of return

A UKBA spokesman said: "All involved have had their asylum claims refused. The courts have confirmed that they have no need for protection and no legal right to stay in the UK.

"There are routes of return home for all the nationalities in this group. None facing eviction need face destitution if they comply with the law and the decisions of our courts and go home.

"Assisted Return schemes exist to help failed asylum seekers return home with support to help them re-integrate.

"Further help and advice on Return programmes can be readily obtained from the charity Refugee Action who work in partnership with the UK Border Agency to help such individuals return home."

Many of those seeking asylum in the UK have been housed in Glasgow.

Those who lose their accommodation will not be able to seek help from local authorities.

In a statement, Glasgow City Council said: "This is a matter for Ypeople and UKBA. The council has no legal basis on which to provide accommodation and subsistence to failed asylum seekers."

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